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Hellfire Canyon Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, February 1, 2007
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--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hellfire Canyon is not the typical. There is violence and even gun play, but there is more--a yearning and understanding of history, legend, and even folklore...  It is more folklore and legend than anything else, and I loved every word."-- Benjamin Boulden, the Gravetapping books blog.


"Max McCoy spins quite a tale of Civil War-era Missouri featuring one of America's first serial killers...Hellfire Canyon is an interesting historical novel, an engrossing, intriguing, well-told story."-- Thomas Garrett, the Baxter Bulletin. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Max McCoy has made a name for himself among fans of Old West tales by penning novels that sizzle with the heat of flying lead and lightning-fast gunslingers. Hellfire Canyon features Alf Brolin, a tall drink of water who guns down innocent victims with the same carelessness with which he quotes classic literature. Federal trooper Zach Thomas, however, lacks any appreciation for Brolin's airs and means to see the outlaw put six feet in the ground. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; 1st Printing edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786017805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786017805
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,974,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin Boulden on May 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hellfire Canyon is the story of Jacob Gamble: outlaw, renegade and general trouble-maker. He is the archetypal western outlaw, with one exception: He is likable, and rather than the antagonist, he is the hero.

The novel begins when three men trample into young Jacob's farmhouse and demand breakfast from his mother. They are confederate soldiers with a platoon of blue bellies hot on their trail. This is the catalyst that shapes Jacob's life--the Union soldiers burn down his home, and he discovers his father is in lockup scheduled to be hanged. Jacob and his mother set out to save his father, but instead find themselves crossing Missouri in the company of a stranger, facing cutthroats, soldiers, the coming winter, and finally forced induction into the gang of the notorious killer Alf Bolin.

Hellfire Canyon is not the typical. There is violence and even gun play, but there is more--a yearning and understanding of history, legend, and even folklore. Gamble is an admitted liar, killer and thief, but he--the story is written in first person--portrays himself never as a victim, but as a survivor. Interestingly, in the opening pages of the novel he casts doubt on everything that is to come: And I won't tell the truth. Instead, I will spin the tale that is expected--that I was forced by circumstances at the tender age of thirteen to become the youngest member of the Bolin gang.

Hellfire Canyon is a campfire story. It is raw, tender, and fresh, but we are left knowing it isn't the real story. It is the story the witness--Jacob Gamble--wants us to know, or perhaps more accurately thinks we want to know. It is more folklore and legend than anything else, and I loved every word.

Ben Boulden

Gravetapping: a thing for books
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been struggling to find an author who writes good Western stories, not historical, not long on details of no value to a plot, and not biographical or whatever this one is called. Max McCoy isn't it, although my conclusion may be premature after only one book.
It's not all bad; it's a good size for a Western (about 200 page), very good writing and easy reading. But no plot really, just a story about a young Jacob Gamble's very early years. And I don't need footnotes to point out specific historical factors. I prefer fiction and this book is a terrible example of a "fiction" Western.
Too bad Chuck West can't find a publisher, but many are no longer publishing Westerns. I rate him the best writer of Westerns today, setting a standard that is not approached by the "selected" Johnstone authors in the past nine years.
I have four more of Max's books on my bookshelf... woe is me!
Norm
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An interesting story of Jacob Gamble and how he became an outlaw at thirteen when he was taken in by Alf Bolin, the meanest, most ruthless, vilest outlaw in all Missouri, or anyway as the tale is told many years later by Jacob Gamble to a newspaper reporter. The War Between the States, South against North, Rebel against Yankee; sometimes reading of those times, one wonders how one nation can turn upon itself so completely. Caught in the Kansas/Missouri border warfare, Jacob Gamble and his mother, their house burned by Yankees after they are forced to give aid to guerrilla fighters, set out on foot to walk the many miles to where their husband/father is imprisoned. They fail in that endeavor, but do get another man released and they're on the road again. Eventually, they met up with Bolin and his gang of cutthroats and Jacob becomes a part of his gang. But Jacob isn't rotten all the way through, or is he? A good read, I found myself reading late into the night to see what would happen next. Eunice Boeve, author of Ride a Shadowed Trail
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